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Open Ophelia Eggplant

Botanical Name: Solanum melongena

$4.95
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# of seeds per packet: 25 seeds / Certified Organic

Description

55 days. Super yummy and cute little early eggplant selected for growing in the north. It is a dehybridization (of the hybrid "Ophelia" eggplant) by Aster Lane Edibles, in Ontario, specifically for early ripening in northern climates. Open Ophelia produces black fruit ranging from small to medium (2-10 oz) with the flavor of big black eggplant, but sweeter and with thinner skin. A versatile eggplant in the kitchen, fruit can be harvested small and cooked whole or harvested when they are bigger and used like standard black eggplant. Mike likes use these in Southeast Asian inspired coconut curries. Plants are compact and easy to grow. We will be continuing the work of stewarding and stabilizing this great variety.

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Eggplants are warm loving plants. Sow seeds indoors around 4/1 into good seed starting mix (we recommend Vermont Compost’s Fort Light). Ideal temperature for germination is 80-90° (use heating mat). Days to germination: 10-14. Once leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Be sure seedlings have adequate light (a windowsill will not do for eggplants) and keep plants from becoming pot-bound because this will permanently stunt plants. If seedlings are getting too big for their pot but the weather is still too cold outside, transplant them into bigger pots. Plant seedlings outside late May into fertile garden soil with lots of compost or decomposed manure. If your soil pH is greater than 7 (which is typical of clay soils in Southeast Michigan) add sulfur to acidify soil. Space plants 1 ½ - 2 ft. apart. If plants begin to flower when plants are less than 1 ft. tall, hand remove early flowers for 2 weeks until plants are bigger. Stake plants if they begin to fall over.

Harvest:

Clip individual eggplants when full size but before they become hard when squeezed. Over-ripe eggplants will turn bitter.

Seed Saving Instructions for gardeners:

Eggplant is a bit difficult to save seed from in zone 5b because they need extended heat to ripen their seeds fully. Eggplants are primarily self-pollinating but insects will cause significant cross pollination. To keep variety pure, isolate by ½ mile or cover plants with low tunnels (using thin row cover fabric) to exclude pollinators. Always save seeds from the best plants. Allow eggplants to turn yellow/orange/tan and become hard – leave them on the plants until just before frost.

Open Ophelia Eggplant [[start tab]]

Description

55 days. Super yummy and cute little early eggplant selected for growing in the north. It is a dehybridization (of the hybrid "Ophelia" eggplant) by Aster Lane Edibles, in Ontario, specifically for early ripening in northern climates. Open Ophelia produces black fruit ranging from small to medium (2-10 oz) with the flavor of big black eggplant, but sweeter and with thinner skin. A versatile eggplant in the kitchen, fruit can be harvested small and cooked whole or harvested when they are bigger and used like standard black eggplant. Mike likes use these in Southeast Asian inspired coconut curries. Plants are compact and easy to grow. We will be continuing the work of stewarding and stabilizing this great variety.

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Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Eggplants are warm loving plants. Sow seeds indoors around 4/1 into good seed starting mix (we recommend Vermont Compost’s Fort Light). Ideal temperature for germination is 80-90° (use heating mat). Days to germination: 10-14. Once leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Be sure seedlings have adequate light (a windowsill will not do for eggplants) and keep plants from becoming pot-bound because this will permanently stunt plants. If seedlings are getting too big for their pot but the weather is still too cold outside, transplant them into bigger pots. Plant seedlings outside late May into fertile garden soil with lots of compost or decomposed manure. If your soil pH is greater than 7 (which is typical of clay soils in Southeast Michigan) add sulfur to acidify soil. Space plants 1 ½ - 2 ft. apart. If plants begin to flower when plants are less than 1 ft. tall, hand remove early flowers for 2 weeks until plants are bigger. Stake plants if they begin to fall over.

Harvest:

Clip individual eggplants when full size but before they become hard when squeezed. Over-ripe eggplants will turn bitter.

Seed Saving Instructions for gardeners:

Eggplant is a bit difficult to save seed from in zone 5b because they need extended heat to ripen their seeds fully. Eggplants are primarily self-pollinating but insects will cause significant cross pollination. To keep variety pure, isolate by ½ mile or cover plants with low tunnels (using thin row cover fabric) to exclude pollinators. Always save seeds from the best plants. Allow eggplants to turn yellow/orange/tan and become hard – leave them on the plants until just before frost.

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$4.95 In Stock
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